Forget kissing and try hands-only CPR
When many people think of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) they immediately think of the ‘kiss of life’. A mixture of cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, the kiss of life aims to re-inflate the lungs and restart blood circulation in people suffering from cardiac arrest and has collapsed and stopped breathing.
Until recently the kiss of life has been considered as one of the most important things to know and use when faced with a medical emergency. However, research is beginning to increasingly suggest that the process should not be used as a form of resuscitation.
Earlier this year in January, UK-based heart charity the British Heart Foundation launched a new advertising campaign to actively promote ‘hands-only’ CPR, the first organisation in the UK to do so.
According to scientists chest compressions are the most effective aspect of CPR. The person administering the compressions is essentially acting as the victim’s heartbeat, responsible for keeping blood pumping around their body. By combining cardiac massage with mouth-to-mouth, their concentration and focus on the vital chest compressions is often lost. Studies have also suggested that when carried out by an untrained person, mouth-to-mouth is completely ineffective and has even been dubbed by some as the ‘kiss of death’.
The BHF is therefore promoting a new CPR practice, consisting solely of hard and fast compressions in the centre of the chest. The aim of this campaign is to encourage people to administer the life saving treatment by showing them how simply it can be done.
The charity was inspired to do this after one of its study’s found almost 50 percent of people would be too afraid to help someone in cardiac arrest because of a lack of knowledge of what to do. It was also revealed that a fifth of people said they were put off doing CPR because of the risk of catching an infection from the mouth-to-mouth process and 40 percent said they were afraid they would be help legally responsible should something go wrong. Considering the chance of someone surviving a cardiac arrest without having CPR administered to them, these results are worrying to say the least.
“The kiss of life can often be daunting for untrained bystanders who want to help when someone has collapsed with a cardiac arrest,” said Ellen Mason, the BHF’s Senior Cardiac Nurse. “Hands-only CPR should give lots of people the confidence and know-how to help save someone in cardiac arrest, the ultimate medical emergency.”
To get its message across to the UK masses the BHF portrayed the often unseen softer side of ex-Wales footballer, actor and hard man Vinnie Jones in its television advert. Appearing as one of the characters Jones is most known for – from the film Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels – he performs hands-only CPR on a stranger in front of the camera. In addition to demonstrating to the public how it should be done, the BHF is also advising the pace at which the compressions should be given – to the tempo of disco classic Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees.
Commenting on his role in the advert, Jones said: “There really shouldn’t be any messing about when it comes to CPR. If you’re worried about the kiss of life just forget it and push hard and fast in the centre of the chest to Stayin’ Alive. Hands-only CPR should give have-a-go heroes the confidence to step in and help when somebody is in cardiac arrest.”
Vinnie Jones in the British Heart Foundation’s hands-only CPR advert:
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